MARYSVILLE — The annual Letter Carriers Food Drive on Saturday, May 11, came just in the nick of time for the Marysville Community Food Bank.
“This drive is essential for covering the summer period when kids are at home and family needs are high,” said Dell Deierling, director of the Marysville Community Food Bank, who counted the end-of-day total as 25,591 pounds of food. “Last year, we finished the day with 24,997 pounds of food, and another 1,231 pounds trickled in over the days following the drive, so I’d say that we beat last year.”
Volunteers not only helped postal carriers collect food donations on their routes, but also received the yellow plastic bags full of donations from the postal carriers at the Marysville Post Office, so they could sort the food into type-specific boxes on site before loading those boxes onto pallets that were then driven by truck to the Marysville Community Food Bank.
“The student volunteers of the Marysville high schools, and especially the Naval Junior ROTC cadets, are always huge helpers for us on this day,” Deierling said. “Youth does a lot of work here.”
After speaking with the postal carriers on their routes, Deierling believes that this year’s donations yielded more volume of food per bag, but slightly fewer bags.
“There’s a sense that the economy has gotten better,” Deierling said. “At the same time, the need is still there. More people are employed, but many of them are not fully employed, and wages haven’t kept up with price changes. It’s important that we continue to support those in need.”
Marysville NJROTC Chief Petty Officer Kathleen Wilde lauded her cadets for asking about this year’s Letter Carriers Food Drive before she’d even mentioned it, and noted that at least one graduating senior from this year is considering how to time his break from college next year to take part in the food drive yet again.
Freshman cadet petty officers 3rd class Sydney Vital and Tiffany Johnstone agreed that lifting heavy boxes of canned food was no picnic — “The boxes of cereal were so light, they were like pieces of Heaven,” Vital laughed — but they also acknowledged how easy their own labors for the day were, when compared to the need facing others.
“A lot of people don’t even have any food, so if you’ve got stuff just sitting in your pantry that you know you’re not going to get around to eating, you should think about giving it to those who would be grateful to have it,” Johnstone said.